Why is enlightenment called enlightenment? In one sense, it means becoming lighter, getting unburdened from the ego. It feels like a huge rock falling off of your shoulders. All the heaviness, seriousness and graveness of life disappears in a moment. You feel a huge relief, you have a good laugh, and you literally become light-hearted.
Historically, enlightenment meant the age of reason. It was an era of truth against ignorance, individual liberty against religious dogma, and scientific revolution against authoritative belief systems. In all of these senses, spiritual enlightenment is very similar. It is a personal revolution against the personality, an individual liberty from the individuality, and a universal quest for the universal truth.
In the third sense, spiritual enlightenment means letting the light of consciousness into the darkness of the ego. Opening your eyes to truth, and awakening from the sleep you call your life. Opening your eyes is a very small gesture on your part, but it changes your world totally. Let me give an analogy so that you can understand it better.
Imagine sitting in a huge room full of lights with every other people in the world. You are already living in the light, you are surrounded by it totally. However, you keep your eyes closed, so you see darkness, for you that is the only reality.
You create your own closed private world that nobody can enter. Your mind is full of fiction, your world is an imagination. But you think it’s real, because you can’t tell the difference until you haven’t seen the real reality. Until you know only the darkness, you don’t know that it’s darkness. You don’t know that you don’t know, because you think you know the light.
Only when you open your eyes for the very first time and let the light in do you realize that you’ve been living in darkness all the time. Your life before enlightenment seems to be like a fleeting dream that you have just awakened from. Only then do you discover this higher dimension of reality, so what you thought to be real so far will seem like an illusion.
Enlightenment creates a very deep connection with other beings, as you realize that you are surrounded by the same light, you are the same light. For the first time, you can see the room full of people with closed eyes. They look like sleepwalkers, they are unconscious of themselves, they are blind to reality.
But you can also see some people who already opened their eyes like you, and you can make a true connection only with them. There is an invisible wall between you and the sleepwalkers, because now you are living in two different worlds. You would like to wake them up too, to liberate them from their unnecessary pain and suffering. After all, how hard is it to open the eyes?
Some say decades of hard work is needed, while others claim you don’t have to do anything, and both of them are right. You are already enlightened, you just have to realize it. Realization is not really an action or an effort, but if you cling to your false beliefs, it will never happen. In fact, you are already making an effort to prevent yourself from becoming enlightened. When are you ready to finally let your eyes open to truth? It depends only on you.
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